The Telegraph reports how Jeremy Corbyn was engaged in an unprecedented war of words with the Israeli prime minister last night over his visit to the graves of the Munich Olympics terrorists.
After a year of denials, Mr Corbyn was finally forced to admit yesterday he was in attendance at a ceremony to honour the leaders of Black September, the group which murdered 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Olympics.
Benjamin Netanyahu said the Labour leader deserved “unequivocal condemnation from everyone” after Mr Corbyn claimed he was “present” but not “involved” in a ceremony honouring the Black September ringleaders.
In his first intervention in the anti-Semitism row that has engulfed Labour, Mr Netanyahu said Mr Corbyn should be denounced by “left, right and everything in between”.
He also directly accused him of a “comparison of Israel to the Nazis” as relations between Labour and the Jewish community reached an all-time low.
In an extraordinary response, Mr Corbyn launched an aggressive counter-attack accusing Mr Netanyahu of “false” claims and using his own words against him, saying: “What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.”
Calls for Mr Corbyn to resign over his failure to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labour Party reached new heights as his critics said the Labour leader himself was now the problem.
When Jeremy Corbyn was first accused of laying a wreathbeside the grave of a terrorist involved in the Munich massacre, his response was unequivocal.
“Absolutely not,” he retorted in May last year, when asked if he had honoured Atef Bseiso, a prominent Palestinian allegedly assassinated by Israeli operatives in Paris in 1992. “I was at a Palestinian conference…we were searching for peace in the Middle East.”
Mr Corbyn was responding to the extraordinary claim that 12 months before being appointed leader of the Labour Party, he had joined a delegation of Palestinian officials at a ceremony which included tributes to members of Black September.
The organisation is among the world’s most infamous terror groups, responsible for the assassination of a Jordanian prime minister and most notably, the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
Bseiso, head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), was regarded as one of the planners of the Munich massacre, during which eight heavily armed terrorists infiltrated the Olympic village and took hostages in a bid to secure the release of 234 Palestinians jailed in Israel. Two were killed in the initial struggle and the remainder died in a bungled rescue attempt.
The attack sent shockwaves around the world and the then Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, ordered Israeli agents to hunt down and kill all those responsible in an operation code-named Wrath of God.
It would take 20 years to complete.Among the last to be assassinated were four men either linked to or directly involved in Black September who now lie buried side by side at the Palestine National Cemetery in Tunis.Among them is Salaf Khalaf, the founder of the group, shot dead in Tunis in 1991, and Bseiso, executed in Paris the following year. All four are believed to have been killed by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.Two decades later, in 2014, the backbench Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn decided to visit their final resting place. He was photographed holding up a large wreath next to their graves, but insists to this day he was not “involved” in laying it.